Dem bones have a story to tell

Recently at a Bermagui U3A beach fossick, one intrepid searcher brought back a decomposing skeleton of a fur seal as his particluar find of the day. In spite of the serious pong for those downwind of this find, Alan Scrymgeour, our leader and guide, was most excited by the treasure and took it home(luckily he and Lyn have a UTE , so it did travel outside!

A month later Alan shows us the skeleton transformed, through loving care and a range of serious chemicals. He now has a pristine skeleton and it’s possible to see his reading of the animal’s death.


Along the ribs, you can clearly see a decisive break, which alan tells us is evidence of a large shark attack – probably a Bull shark or similar.

An interesting and informative find and a nice conclusion to an enlightening search. Thanks again Alan.

Merimbula & Back Lake coastal management program

Your chance to get involved in the Merimbula & Back Lake Coastal Management Program


Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking your contribution on the management of Merimbula and Back Lake and the surrounding foreshore:

• What makes the lakes great and how could they be even better?

• What are your concerns about the health of the lakes and their catchments?

• How could the management of the lakes be improved?

BVSC welcome your thoughts on these issues or anything else you would like to discuss about the lakes. Your involvement is the key to developing a successful Management Program, so please visit the website to have your say and view updates throughout the project. Please also register your details on the website to receive project updates via email:

Have your say?

The next meeting of the Merimbula and back Lake focus group is May 24th, so get your thoughts, ideas and questions in before then.

Dr Andrew Claridge – Quolls and cameras

Join us for  a chance to learn more about the lives of the small mammals that live in our region.

Dr Andrew Claridge

Dr Andrew Claridge, will be sharing some of the exploits and insights of his research with us on June 8th at the Local Land Service offices in Bega at 2.00pm (time to be confirmed).

Young Tiger Quoll – photo David Gallan

Dr Andrew Claridge is a Senior Research Scientist with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service based in Queanbeyan. As a wildlife biologist he has worked on many different animals over the past 30 years, both in south-eastern mainland Australia and also the Pacific Northwest United States. He has a particular affection for mammals such as potoroos and bandicoots, and the carnivorous spotted-tailed quoll. His interests also extend to the interactions among forest organisms and how those interrelationships afford resilience. In the past 10 years or so Andrew has been very active in the use of infrared cameras to detect and monitor cryptic wildlife. In his upcoming presentation he will discuss the benefits this technology has brought, together with some of the challenges. Using the example of looking for quolls with cameras, Andrew will also put forward the prospect of Citizen Scientists helping with some of this work.

Pillar Quoll photo Andrew Claridge

Sentinel Quoll photo Andrew Claridge

Please let us know if you can join us.

Prof. Steve Smith Sea Slug Census interview

Goniobranchus splendidus, photo Nick Shaw, Montague island

All you Sea Sluggers listen to Prof. Steve Smith on Monday 8th May at 7:35am ABC SE Radio. He will be talking about some of our great finds on the recent Far South Coast census.

We found some really interesting species and some which are out of their known range, so hear what Steve has to say about what we have found so far,

Prof. Steve Smith Southern Cross University

Chelidonura inornata, Photo Libby Hepburn, Blue Pool

Haminoea cymbalum, photo Libby Hepburn, Blue Pool

Zombie animals, brainwashing bugs and bacteria

Come and listen to Dr Crid Fraser ACT Scientist of the Year, at Oaklands on Saturday May 13th 6:30pm for 7pm.

This is the first 2017 “Hub in the Pub” event of the Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and everyone is welcome to delve into the science of mind and mood altering bacteria and bugs.

Free finger food and a great atmosphere in the Longstocking Brewery at Oaklands.

Let’s map invasive European Wasps

If you see any of these invasive wasps please record them on NatureMapr so we can see where they are a problem.

Native thynnid wasp
(flower wasp)

European wasp, photo Ali Rodway

Have you noticed the busy activity of wasps in the garden in late summer and autumn? Many of these are harmless and beneficial native wasps, like flower wasps. These perform an important role as pollinators and as biological pest control on the farm or in the garden. Some help control caterpillars which they feed to their larvae. Others lay their eggs in or on a range of host insects. The larvae hatch and eventually kill the host. There are wasps which parasitise leaf-eating scarab insects, pasture grubs and Christmas beetles and whitefly pests of tomatoes and cucumbers. So it’s worth loving your wasps.

Landholders and the Koori Work Crew here in the Bega Valley have recently reported seeing (and feeling the stings of) a less loveable wasp – the European wasp (Vespula germanica). This wasp is neither harmless nor beneficial. It poses a threat to local ecosystems, personal safety, recreational values and rural industries on the far south coast.

For more information read CMN April 2017 newsletter

Sea Slug Census

April 1st and 2nd from Greencape to Tathra and April 8th Bermagui and April 9th around Narooma and north.

We are inviting everyone to explore our coast for the jewels of the sea which are most often seen at this time of year.

See or webpage above for details and keep up to date with what’s happening on the Sapphire Coast Sea Slug Census Facebook page

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Fabulous Fungi season is here…

Leather fungus

Leather fungus





Coral fungus

Coral fungus



Bolete    …sponge like layer of tubes under cap

Anemone Stinkhorn

Anemone Stinkhorn


Ghost Fungus

Ghost Fungus

Agaric...gilled fungus

Agaric…gilled fungus

These are only a few of the many fungus that have emerged after the damp ,warm weather….  local forests ,Mandeni,Tura Headland and tracks near the golf course to Short point& Long Point .So far have just been recording the larger fungus & filling the memory card with many unidentified species .Please send in any sightings you have for our data base.

A rare Wraparound spider

Known as a’wrap around’ spider this cryptic little spider has the curious habit of wrapping around a small branch thus providing it with amazing camouflage. Indigenous to Australia, the spider belongs to the genus Dolophones and seventeen species are known (Wikipedia). We cannot identify the particular species of this spider but it was found on the verandah of Lyn and Alan Scrymgeour’s home at Myrtle Mountain near Wyndham NSW.

Wraparound spider Photo Lyn Scrymgeour

Wraparound spider Photo Lyn Scrymgeour